I’m a sucker for food packaging. Whether it’s a foreign foods market or the specialty section of the grocery store, I’m attracted to products with panache. Italian artist Anna Rodighiero is equally as afflicted it seems, though she takes her affinity a step further on Packaging Addicted, a blog devoted to illustrating package design. Asking readers to submit photos of their favorite foods or interesting packaging they’ve encountered on trips, Rodighiero then draws her own whimsical version of the products.
She’s tackled everything from Chinese cookies and Nutella to Thai curry paste and English jelly candies. Her addiction encompasses her professional work, too. Aside from creating a version of her resume as a pizza recipe, Rodigheiro has interpreted the work of Julia Child as well as given pickles a whole new identity.
Illustrator Clay Hickson seems to have a thing for both still lifes and food, especially in combination. Hickson gives the still life a turn for the surreal and a heavy dose of geometry and patterning that takes a cue from 1980s design/architecture collective the Memphis Group, but with a contemporary graphic spin that is reminiscent of the hand-drawn psychedelic desert vibes of Steven Harrington‘s work. Sunday Thoughts is a series of illustrations updated weekly alongside Hickson’s prolific body of work, which you can find here.
Some food spaces aren’t about food preparation or presentation, they’re actually inspired by food. When I was a third year architecture student, a professor kept comparing a studiomate’s project to Swiss cheese. So after several iterations the professor still wasn’t happy with, my studiomate built a model out of a block of cheese she purchased from an absurd grocery store named Jungle Jim’s. We all laughed about her semi-sanitary model, but there was something compelling about the porosity of cheese in the first place. There are large buildings like the Rolex Learning Center that look almost as if the architects set out to build a giant slice of cheese, even if most architects cringe at the suggestion that Sanaa would ever do such at a thing.
But some other folks have done such a thing, and done it quite well. The architect here is Kotaro Horiuchi who has offices in both France and Japan. The space here inspired by cheese is – get this – a Parisian cheese boutique Salon du Fromage. The sculpted interior looks exceedingly clean and the porous lighting fixtures cast irregular shadows across the sufaces of boutique, adding to their apparent depth. Like the lighting fixtures, the furniture is custom. I don’t know enough about cheesemongering to know if this place of business makes business sense, but it’s a stunning place to show off cheese, so let’s hope they make some cheddar.
There’s nothing sweeter than honey. Well, unless you count sugar and countless other sweeteners. But it’s arguable that honey is the most natural of sweet treats, and nothing simulates it’s earthy aroma or unctuous slide down the back of your throat. With quite a number of artisanal products on the market, it’s interesting to see an uptick in eye-catching honey packaging design. Designers are opting for simple vessels with minimal adornment which highlights the unique quality of small batch production.
Japan’s Onuma Honey offers a variety of flavors from buckwheat to watermelon. Akaoni Design is responsible for the spare brown paper packaging and petite glass jars which are stamped with muted color motifs depicting the origin of the contents. The Yamagata set box with it’s angular blue mountain range is a personal favorite and stands as a design object all by itself.
Recent design grad, Collin Cummings, did a student rebranding of the ever-popular Savannah Bee Company. Choosing a more modern and industrial approach, his jars are delicately printed and topped with wooden lids. It’s a shame these are only prototypes, though, because they’d make a fantastic limited edition batch.
The London Honey Company began on creator Steve Benbow’s rooftop in Central London. He now has a thriving urban business augmented by Red Stone’s playful branding featuring a cotillion of honey bees in bowler hats. Aside from being able to purchase the honeycomb itself, Benbow also sells honey lip balm and the published story of his beekeeper life. The company’s video is super fun, too.
For the past few years Carl Kleiner has been taking food and transforming it into works of art. You may remember the photos he did for IKEA’s Homemade Is Best cookbook, or perhaps The Art of Cooking videos he also made for IKEA? So when I started putting together ideas for posts this week I knew I had to check back in with Carl’s work to see if he’d done anything new. Sure enough he had.
The images and video above are an Homage To Calder, a playful spin on Calder’s mobiles, only this time with foods. Carl teamed up with his wife Evelina for this project, and together I think the’ve created such a playful take on what Calder was doing. Who says you can’t play with your food?